The social media game is ever-changing, so staying on top of trends can be a little overwhelming. But the truth is unless you keep changing with the times, your social media profiles may not be as efficient as they could be. Not to worry, though. The approaching new year is a great time to get yourself ahead of the curve and learn about the trends of the coming year. Read on to learn what’s in store in the social media world for 2019, and what you can do to get a leg up on your competition.
Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence
AI is making its way into our lives, and many people don’t realize how much we already use it. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, streaming media services like Spotify and Netflix, and recommendations from online shops like Amazon all rely on AI to help bring you the information you want and need. Social media is no different, and you can learn to utilize this for your benefit in 2019.
Using chatbots on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Kik can help boost your customer service response time and gather information from potential customers. You can personalize chatbots to respond to customer questions, offer helpful information, and connect customers with real people when necessary. As artificial intelligence technology improves, so will the ways that chatbots interact with potential customers. You can expect chatbots to become more human-like in their responses, and they will get better at providing you insights into what your customers want and need.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Pokémon GO made a splash in the summer of 2016 as one of the first popular apps to use augmented reality. Users loved the level of engagement it offered and were hungry for more. Since then, the augmented reality market has grown exponentially and has found a place on social media and social messaging apps. Snapchat, for example, is well known for its use of facial filters. Snapchat users will notice that sometimes these filters are branded – in other words, a company pays to advertise by creating a filter that users can add to their pictures and videos on Snapchat. In 2016, Gatorade created a filter during the Super Bowl that got 160 million impressions. Filters are a creative and fun way to show off your brand and target the audience you want.
This technology is still in its infancy, but you can expect it to explode in the coming years, so it’s a good idea to get started with experimenting now. Big companies like Starbucks and Volkswagen have bought into it, so why wait?
Visual and Voice Search
By 2020, it’s predicted that half of all searches will be voice searches. This means SEO and digital marketing strategies as we know them will change radically, as voice searching isn’t just about the audio input you give. Through voice searches, virtual assistants will learn about behavior patterns and user intent. While this is great for the consumer, businesses are left struggling to catch up and stay on top of the new technology. Voice searches are more conversational in nature, and search engines need to adjust their algorithms to compensate, so, as a marketer, it’s important to write content in a natural, conversational tone rather than focusing on keywords. It’s essential to understand the intent of your potential customers – what information they need, what questions they want answered, and what problems they want solved.
In addition to voice search, visual search is on the rise. Visual search allows you to snap a picture, and then search for individual objects within that picture. For example, there’s a pillow on your friend’s couch that you love, but she forgets where she bought it. Snap a picture, use a visual search, and find similar objects for sale. This is another bit of technology that is brand new, so it will be interesting to see the marketing possibilities.
Authenticity is Key
While the above items are based on new technology, not all marketing trends are tech-based. Today, consumers are looking for trustworthy, authentic brands. Gone are the days of in-your-face marketing, hard selling techniques, and annoying interruptions. Marketing today is a lot more subtle. It’s about painting yourself as an authority in your industry, and a source of reliable information that potential customers can turn to when they’re in need.
Trends like influencer marketing, native advertising, and video content have been on the rise for years now, and it all points to one thing – people want content they can trust. And this trend isn’t likely to disappear within the coming years. So what can you do to be authentic? Start by focusing less on the sale, and more on fulfilling the customer’s desires and providing them with a stellar experience from start to finish. Let them know that they can come to you with questions. Use the tools above to create customer satisfaction, and don’t drop the ball when it comes to following up. Today’s technology allows businesses to give their customers personalized, memorable experiences. Focus on that, and the customers will come to you.
As Generation Z comes of age and Millenials gain greater purchasing power, the dynamics of marketing will undoubtedly shift. While Millenials still love Facebook and Twitter, the younger crowd has latched onto Snapchat and Instagram, and marketing techniques need to be different for each demographic. Knowing the age range of the customers you are targeting is essential. From there, you need to use the platforms that they are using to be able to reach your marketing goal.
Technology is changing faster than ever, and keeping up with it can be a full-time job. With so many changes, it’s difficult to know what lies in the future. Keep an eye on the trends and your finger on the pulse, and don’t be afraid to take a leap – as long as you’re staying true to yourself and your brand. If you’d like more information on what the future of marketing holds, contact us.